Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (book #5)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Format: Hardback (693 pages)
My Goodreads rating: 5/5 marvelous stars!!!!
Book Depository: Empire of Storms
KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart. (Goodreads)
Hi, bloggers! It is FINALLY time to post this much-needed review, because my exams are over and done with and I can now gush about books on a much more frequent basis! There is so much I need to say about this book, but in the spirit of keeping this blog post as short and succinct as possible, I’ll try my best to keep it brief and spoiler-free. Let’s discuss:
The first thing I need to say is holy crap, what a book! I mentioned in my last review for Queen of Shadows that I have finally accepted the fact that this series has had a huge shift in plot, from assassins to Fae. Reading this book objectively, I was stunned. I know some people really disliked this book purely for the reason I just stated above, and perhaps I would have too, once upon a time, but I simply loved it. As in, A Court of Mist and Fury-level love. Here’s why:
This book, in my humble opinion, is by far the best in the series. I will always love Throne of Glass, which was written what feels like a lifetime ago. But based on my reaction to this book alone, it is definitely my favourite. I was emotionally drained. I couldn’t stop re-reading it for days. I couldn’t stop crying for about a solid week, and I’m about 93.76% sure that I was in a state of post-reading shock, if my moping and sobbing were any indication.
As usual, with any Sarah J. Maas book, one of my favourite things about Empire of Storms is the characters. Maas writes characters extremely well. Extremely well. It’s clear, reading reviews about any book she writes, that people (including myself) are so emotionally invested in her fictional characters because they read like real people. Aelin keeps growing as a protagonist, and she is so fucking smart in this book I can’t even deal. I really enjoyed reading about her accepting the role she has in ending the war and reclaiming her throne, and all her plotting is so intelligent and sneaky I was constantly surprised and impressed by her. Dorian does go through a huge character change, and I know it’s because of everything he went through in Queen of Shadows. I really like the new, sombre and powerful AF Dorian, but I’ll always miss the carefree Prince we first met.
Manon Blackbeak is a serious badass, and I’ve never had a character grow on me so much. Her role in this book is awesome, her growth as a character is fantastic to read, and I’m excited to see more of her and her kickass Thirteen. The other characters, from Lysandra (slay) to Aedion (bae) to Rowan (ok, I kinda like him now), and even some old characters we met before, are well written and exciting to follow. But do you want to know the two characters that I literally lived for in this book?
Lorcan and Elide.
Where did these two come from, how did they become my favourites, and how do I get more of them??? Move over, Aelin and Rowan, because there’s a new ship in town. I couldn’t stop reading every scene they were in, and if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I live and breathe for love-hate relationships. So, thanks Maas. You’ve created an obsessive monster in me with all the Elide/Lorcan feels.
The action scenes are on point, as usual. Maas is seriously talented at writing the tiny details, so every action/fighting scene is described incredibly well. I had my mouth hanging open every time some crazy shit happened, which was just about every second page. Who doesn’t love a group of powerful people kicking ass with magic and weapons? Because this girl does.
And finally, that ending. It was amazing, brutal, and I cried my eyes out for hours. There are so many twists and turns in this book, and some truly heartbreaking revelations. Maas really doesn’t hold back, and the final chapter left me in complete shock. I’m furious that I have to wait a whole year for the final book! But I’m still looking forward to the newest release in September, and I also have ACOWAR to keep me going 🙂
Now, just a few things that I didn’t like:
- Too much romance. I get it, Maas. You love romance, but not every character needs to be together, think sexy thoughts, or just in general jump at another character every chance they get. It’s war. More seriousness, less sex. I want Manon to be single. If she turns into a mushy romantic, I’ll be furious. But for my OTP Lorcan and Elide, I want them together so badly it hurts.
- No Chaol. This I didn’t particularly care for, as I don’t feel Chaol has added much to the series as it progressed. But I was confused about his absence until I found out he’s getting his very own book in September! So, fingers crossed!
- I feel like Aedion’s character is a little different from the one we were introduced to in Heir of Fire, and I’m not sure why. He feels…a bit mild? But I’m pretty sure that’s just me. Also, I wish we had a little more “assassin Celaena”, because as much as I love Aelin’s powers, I miss the sword-wielding badass from Throne of Glass.
Overall, this book slayed. I couldn’t put it down, I cried buckets, and I’m seriously impatient for the next book. I really recommend it, and I’m glad I read on with this series just to get to this book. If you’ve given up, I think it might rekindle your faith. But to be honest, if you did not enjoy Queen of Shadows, I don’t think you will enjoy this one, either. The plot and action might not be enough for an enjoyable read, so proceed with caution. But is is a greatly exciting book, so I’d advise an objective approach to reading.
One last thing! This is completely unrelated to the book, but if you’re a person who loves reading whilst listening to music, and enjoy finding that PERFECT song for a book, please, please, please listen to “Dynasty” by MIIA, it’s on YouTube. I found this song about five minutes after completing the novel, and it fit so perfectly that I couldn’t even listen to it without crying. 😉
And that’s it! Thank you so much for reading, this review has been a long time coming and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book down below. Did you love it? Hate it? Have any opinions about certain things or certain *coughs* ships/OTPs? Let me know! 🙂